Saturday 17 March 2012

Cons of Animal Testing

One objective of animal testing is to establish clinical procedures that are of benefit to humans. What if it was found that in the course of 20 reviews of animal testing, in general, only two of those reviews concluded that animal models (as opposed to alternative methods of testing) led to clinical procedures that met the objective.

Animal testing
Animal testing. Photo: Pixabay.

In other words what if it was established that animal testing had a success rate of 10% in respect of this objective. If that were the case even hardened pro-animal testers would have to question the morality and ethics of the process because even people who are in favour of it must see that it is at the very least borderline acceptable from an ethical and moral standpoint.

The only justification for animal testing is that it has a substantial positive impact on the health of people.

Well, it does not. The fact is that in only 10% of the reviews did the authors of the review consider that animal testing had served its purpose and met its objectives in respect of clinical procedures beneficial to people. That information comes from the most comprehensive review by Andrew Knight in his book: The Costs and Benefits of Animal Experiments - ISBN-10: 0230243924.

Armed with that information it is difficult to justify it on a simple cost effectiveness basis forgetting about the dubious morality. There are better ways to improve clinical procedures that are more cost effective. In respect of product testing, apparently, the differences in physiology between the animals tested upon and that of humans is sufficient to make the results less than reliable on many occasions - it is inefficient and sometimes ineffective.

If you are anti-animal testing you would not need to argue so fine a point. To us it is simply immoral and unethical to cause pain, suffering and death to animals for our benefit. After all we are human animals and we are becoming more aware that the differences between the human animal and other animals are not as great as we first thought. They can feel pain and emotion and we are discovering they might be self-conscious. Some animals show startlingly high levels of intelligence.

The testing of animals is probably still practised because it is cheaper than using, for example, computer simulations. It might be cheaper to carry out but its inefficiency makes it more expensive.

If you weighed the pain and suffering of all the 9.9 million "instances of animal use" in the countries of the European Union in 2008, would it be in balance with the health benefits to Europeans? I suspect the pain side of the scale would be much heavier.

Note: the quote is from Jane Goodhall's article in the Times of March 17th 2012.

See also cosmetics animal testing and animal testing statistics.

1 comment:

  1. I think due to the fact that there is only a small chance of success that animal testing is unnessesary and cruel.If it's truely all"in the name of science"then people can part with there precious money to create computer stimulations "in the name of science"instead of murdering innocent creatures for it.Karin snuggles into her cat bed as I write this and the thought of her and other cats having painful goverment funded tests done apon her startles an enrages me.Cats are living things that love,mourn,feel joy.They do NOT deserve to be tortured!:(-Saladin


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